As you navigate a pregnancy, it’s important to understand the risk of complications, including ectopic pregnancy. In a healthy pregnancy, a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. With an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants and grows outside the uterus.
Unfortunately, an ectopic pregnancy can’t continue but requires immediate medical treatment. If not treated promptly, it can become life-threatening.
Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy
Some women who have an ectopic pregnancy have the normal early signs or symptoms of pregnancy — a missed period, breast tenderness, and nausea. As the fertilized egg grows in an improper place, signs and symptoms may become more noticeable.
The Mayo Clinic shares that some of the first warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy are light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain.
In some of the most extreme cases, a woman could experience a fallopian tube rupturing where heavy bleeding inside the abdomen is likely. Symptoms of this life-threatening event include extreme lightheadedness, fainting, and shock.
Prevent Ectopic Pregnancy
Though it’s hard to control your risk of ectopic pregnancy, there are a couple of things you can do to reduce your risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, these include:
- Limiting your sexual partners helps to prevent sexually transmitted infections and may reduce the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Try not to smoke. If you do, quit before trying for pregnancy.
When to See a Doctor
According to the Mayo Clinic, get emergency medical attention right away if you have the following signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy:
- Severe abdominal or pelvic pain accompanied by vaginal bleeding
- Extreme lightheadedness or fainting
- Shoulder pain
It’s essential to seek medical help with any symptom, even if it seems small. Time is of the essence.
Importance of an Ultrasound
To confirm your pregnancy details and whether you could be experiencing a possible ectopic pregnancy, an ultrasound is needed. We offer free ultrasound referrals at PVCPC, and you can begin your pregnancy confirmation journey with a free pregnancy test.
We’re here for you always. Schedule a free appointment to get the answers you need about your pregnancy.